Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Meryl Streep
Robert Redford
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Michael Kitchin.
Directors
Sydney Pollack.
Screenwriters
Kurt Luedtke.
Running Time
150 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
All This Mayhem
3 Star Empire Rating
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

Out of Africa
An all-American band of veterans go on the hunt for Oscars in Africa.


submit to reddit


Plot
The life and tribulations of the Danish Baroness Karen Blixen who ran a coffee plantation in Kenya and survived a bore of a husband, a drifty lover, schooling the natives, war and a bout of VD.


Review
Interestingly, the role for which she is most famed, determined Baroness Blixen, did not grant Meryl Streep an Oscar. It just seems like it did, especially as Sydney Pollack’s sturdy but turgid epic soaked up all the major Oscar categories apart from the acting categories. So naturally, it’s got plenty of glorious vistas, and the screenplays dutifully takes Blixen’s memoirs at their word, but this is more Thorn Birds than Lawrence Of Arabia. It’s got its effective barbs, what with all that Streep-strung heartache, but always feels to take shape against the landscape.

After Redford’s laconic hunter has dropped by with his sexy bi-plane, and washed his leading lady’s hair, who then has to see off a lion and venereal disease, we’re less swept away than spiritually absent. There’s a creeping ache in the umpteenth shot of the rolling Ngogo Hills, and the perfect twang of Streep’s Danish accent, the film is so preened and self-satisfied. Blixen is not an inviting character, she’s admirably dignified but remote. Redford is as rugged as the landscape, and as lumpy and distant. Actually, the best performance comes from Klaus Maria Brandauer who stomps in like a bear aiming to wake everybody up on set.


Verdict
Just as the film captures a world (Imperialism, hunting, colonialism) that has faded away, so this film feels like one of the last of it’s kind. How long before a black person in a film taking Africa as its subject gets to play something other than a savage or a slave?


Reviewed by Ian Nathan


Related Reviews

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)